PSL1053H - Advanced Topics: Critical Assessment of Ion Channel Function

Course Coordinator:  Z. P. Feng

Description: 
To provide graduate students with a broad exposure to a range of current research areas related to ion channels. Critical advances and papers dealing with ion channel structure and function will be covered. For example, activation gating of cation channels, inactivation mechanisms in cation channels, mechanisms of ion permeation and selectivity in cation channels, modulation of expression and function by accessory subunits in cation channels, permeation and regulation of water channels, allosteric regulation of cation channels (by ions, lipids and phosphorylation), chloride channel regulation, and mathematical and computer modeling of ion channels.

Format: 
There will be 11 lectures (2.5 hr/lecture) dealing with molecular aspects of ion channels. Each lecture will involve a brief overview by the lecturer. Students will present and critique the assigned research papers in selected areas for each class, followed by discussion/report.  Original papers and reviews will be used for student presentations and discussion. Active participation in discussions will be required. For each presentation, student discussants  will be assigned to review the paper and asked to come to class with prepared questions.

Prerequisite: 
Students need not have a strong background in all topics covered but it will be helpful to have taken PSL452.

Evaluation:
a) Oral presentation 40%
Each student is expected to present twice and each presentation will be assessed by all faculty members in the classroom.

b) Written reports 40%
Each student is expected to submit two paper critique reports and two mini reviews on the assigned papers.  Each task will be assed by the faculty who is directing the particular topic (one week after submission).

c) Class discussion and participation 20%
Each student is expected to lead two sections of class discussion.  All students are expected to participate in discussions.  The discussion will be assessed on the basis of his/her roles as discussants and general contributions to the in-class discussions.

Textbook:
Ion channels in excitable membrane: B. Hille

~ updated Dec-2016

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